The Collected Letters, Volume 2


TC TO JANE BAILLIE WELSH; 9 August 1822; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18220809-TC-JBW-01; CL 2:155-156.


Friday-morning [9 August 1822].

My dear Friend,

Supposing that you are quite tired with such a long course of hard reading as Sismondi must have proved, I send out these books of Milman1 to you, hoping they may serve to entertain you for an hour or two.

There is also a miserable pen—which upon examination I find not to be one of Bramahs,2 or worth a single doit; accompanied with some doggrel which is worth even less. I send both, notwithstanding; because the will is often impressed with a value which the deed has not conferred upon it. These silly articles will reach you without farther cost, and may be consumed with fire or cast into outer darkness in Haddington as well as here.

I am waiting with exemplary patience for your letter and verses: I beg, however, that you will send them by the first Book—without minding the others—if you can steal as much time from more serious duties. I fear I must speak no more about seeing you at present. It seems as if on meeting you I should have a thousand things to say, and ten thousand which I could not say. Nevertheless I shall leave it all at your own disposal; and only beg that you will not altogether allow the clamorous demands of worldly proprieties and conveniences to drown the “small still voice,” which would once have pleaded for me in your heart, and some echo of which may perhaps still linger there. This looks all very childish but it is not quite so.

I purpose afflicting you with a long series of enormous letters, if you will not let me see your face very soon. Perhaps therefore your better resolution would be to submit at once.

Excuse this blotted scrawl: I am hurried excessively. When shall I get your letter?

Ever Yours /

Thomas Carlyle—